Frostburg State (2-6) takes on its second straight Presidents’ Athletic Conference opponent when it visits Waynesburg (5-3) in a non-conference contest Saturday at 1:30 pm at John F. Wiley Stadium.
The Bobcats were denied their first back-to-back wins of the season with a 25-13 loss to Westminster in their home finale. At 2-6 and with two games remaining, FSU is guaranteed consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1986-88. The Bobcats were 4-5 last year.
Waynesburg dropped a 35-30 PAC contest at Washington & Jefferson, ranked No. 5 in the AFCA national poll, last Saturday. The Yellow Jackets were nationally ranked in a pair of preseason polls and started the season 3-0 but have dropped three of their last five.
Frostburg State and Waynesburg meet for the 37th time with the Yellow Jackets holding a 24-11-1 lead in the all-time series. Waynesburg has won the last two contests, including 28-7 at Bobcat Stadium last season. The Bobcats are just 4-9-1 in their last 15 trips to Waynesburg.
Frostburg State Head Coach Rubin Stevenson (Salisbury ‘87) is in his fifth season at the helm of the Bobcat program. Stevenson, who holds a 21-25 record, has led FSU to two ACFC championships (2002 & 2003), three Regents Cup titles (2001, 2002 & 2003 – awarded to the annual winner of the FSU-Salisbury game) and one ECAC Southwest Championship game appearance (2002). Stevenson’s squad won nine straight ACFC games from October 27, 2001 to September 25, 2004.
Waynesburg Head Coach Jeff Hand (Clarion ‘92) is in his fourth season with the Yellow Jackets. He has posted a 22-16 record and has quickly turned WC into a national playoff contender. After 3-7 and 5-4 records in his first two years, Hand guided the Yellow Jackets to a 9-2 finish, their first-ever outright Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) championship and their first-ever NCAA Division III playoff berth (WC fell to Bridgewater 28-24 in the opening round). Hand was named the PAC Coach of the Year for his efforts. Hand earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Clarion University in 1992, and later achieved his master’s degree from Indiana University in 2000.
SCOUTING THE YELLOW JACKETS
Waynesburg looks to rebound from last Saturday’s hard-fought 35-30 loss to PAC rival and then No. 5 Washington & Jefferson.
The Yellow Jackets trailed 21-3 at halftime and pulled close by outscoring the Presidents 27-14 in the second half, but W&J recovered a fumbled punt return and ran out the final 1:50 to clinch the PAC title.
Waynesburg held a 27-17 advantage in first downs, a 147-66 cushion in rushing yards and a 507-385 lead in total yards; however, W&J scored 14 points off of two WC turnovers.
Waynesburg, which has endured a 2-3 stretch after opening the year with three straight wins, boasts one of the top offenses in the nation. The Yellow Jackets are sixth in scoring (44.5 ppg) and 24th in total yards (442.0 ypg).
Senior quarterback Jeff Dumm, who completed 33-of-41 passes for 356 yards and three touchdowns against W&J, ranks 20th in the nation in passing efficiency (149.7) and 30th in total offense (241.5 ypg). Dumm is 157-of-236 (66.5%) for 1,868 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season.
The Yellow Jackets own an equally explosive ground attack that is averaging 201.2 yards per game. Sophomore Ryan Abels leads the way with 864 yards and 10 touchdowns on 148 carries and is ranked 25th in the nation with 122.7 rushing yards per game. Freshman Calvin Lee (51-243-6) and sophomore Eric Daniels (40-228-2) are also threats.
Senior Paul D’Imperio, junior Ivan Hawkins and junior Dominick Hunter are Dumm’s favorite receiving targets. The three have combined for 111 catches, 1,390 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The Yellow Jacket defense has been solid, allowing 18.4 points and 276.1 yards per game. Junior linebacker Nick Embley and junior defensive back Andy Tenney lead the squad with 54 tackles, while senior linebacker Matt Harnish is close behind with 52 stops.
Freshman lineman Mike Czerwein paces the team with 14 tackles for loss and 9.0 sacks. Junior defensive back Luke Cunkelman has five interceptions.
THE BOBCATS LAST WEEK
Senior Scott Froelich ran for 181 yards and accounted for all four Westminster touchdowns as the visiting Titans dropped Frostburg State 25-13 Saturday at Bobcat Stadium.
Froelich ran for two touchdowns, threw a touchdown pass to senior quarterback Joe Getsy and caught a scoring pass from Getsy to help Westminster improve to 4-4 on the season and 8-1-1 all-time against Frostburg State. The Bobcats fell to 2-6 on the year.
The loss spoiled another solid outing by senior Mike Kitchen, who ran 30 times for 133 yards. It was his third straight 100-yard rushing performance.
Kitchen appeared the give the Bobcats the lead on their first possession, but his 40-yard scoring run was negated due to a holding call. Two plays later, Westminster picked off a pass by FSU sophomore Jimmy Ward at the Titan 16 to end the threat.
After the teams traded punts, Froelich put Westminster on the board with a 19-yard touchdown run with 6:03 left in the opening quarter. Frostburg State was held on its ensuing possession but caught a break when a punt by senior Nick Quisgard hit a Westminster player around the Titan 32 and rolled farther into WC territory.
Bobcat freshman Brad Dreyer pounced on the ball at the WC 19, and five plays later, Ward hit senior Adam J. Snyder with a three-yard touchdown pass. However, the extra point attempt was wide left and the Bobcats trailed 7-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Frostburg State took its only lead of the day on an unconventional play with 4:33 left in the half. Ward connected with junior Gil Bolden on a short pass, and while being wrapped up by several Titan defenders, Bolden handed the ball off to Snyder, who raced 25 yards untouched into the end zone. Quisgard nailed the extra point to give FSU a 13-7 lead.
Westminster needed just five plays to move back in front as Froelich turned a short screen pass from Getsy into a 19-yard touchdown along the far sideline. The extra point attempt hit the right post and the game was tied at 13.
Kitchen sparked FSU on the first play of its ensuing possession, taking a screen pass and gaining 26 yards to midfield. A Titan personal foul on the play moved the ball to the 33, and the Bobcats continued to march to the Westminster three-yard line with four seconds left.
However, Quisgard’s 21-yard field goal attempt was wide right as time expired in the half, and the teams went into the lockerrooms deadlocked at 13.
Westminster used a Bobcat penalty and some razzle-dazzle on its first drive of the second half to take the lead for good. The Titans threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-eight from the FSU 30 but got another chance when the Bobcats were whistled for being offsides.
The visitors took advantage of the opportunity on the next play. Froelich took a handoff from Getsy and rolled to his left, but finding no running lanes, Froelich stopped and lobbed a pass across the field to Getsy, who sprinted 25 yards into the end zone.
The extra point attempt was no good but the Titans held a 19-13 lead with 3:49 left in the quarter.
Froelich then capped the scoring when he broke through the line and raced 61 yards for a touchdown with 4:44 remaining.
Frostburg State turned the ball over on downs near midfield on its final two possessions, and Westminster ran out the final seconds to seal the win.
Ward finished 13-of-35 for 139 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Snyder caught three passes for 50 yards and two scores.
Senior Tom Kaminsky led the Titans with 10 tackles, while senior James Clash and junior Chris Lentz had nine stops each for the Bobcats.
Waynesburg is the third opponent on Frostburg State’s 2004 schedule (Montclair State and SUNY Brockport are the others) to have advanced to the NCAA Playoffs last season. Waynesburg fell to Bridgewater 28-24 in the first round, blowing a 17-0 halftime lead to the playoff-experienced Eagles. Montclair State edged Allegheny 20-19 in the first round before losing to Ithaca 33-13, while SUNY Brockport lost to Ithaca 14-9 in the first round.
KITCHEN CONTINUES TO COOK
After struggling with injuries and gaining just 168 yards on 75 carries in FSU's first five games, senior Mike Kitchen has exploded in the last three weeks, rushing 99 times for 396 yards and three touchdowns. He carried 30 or more times for 100-plus yards in each contest, including a 35-carry, 142-yard effort against Maryville October 23.
MORE SPARKS FROM THE KITCHEN
Kitchen's recent performances have sparked the FSU offense, which is averaging 18.0 points in the last three weeks, almost double the 9.4 ppg the Bobcats managed over the first five games.
After struggling the first five games of the season, FSU’s offense found its rhythm in a 22-0 win over Maryville. The Bobcats set season highs for rushes (52), rushing yards (206), total yards (358), first downs (22) and points (22).
THIRD’S NOT THE CHARM
After not allowing a single point in the third quarter over its first four games, Frostburg State gave up a combined 36 in losses to Wesley and Widener. Wesley put 16 points up in its 22-0 victory October 9, and Widener scored 20 in its 54-19 win October 16.
MODEL OF EFFICIENCY
Sophomore Jimmy Ward had his most effective game of the season against Maryville, completing 11-of-16 passes for 152 yards and one touchdown. He did not throw an interception for the second straight game and was sacked just once. In FSU’s previous five-game losing skid, Ward was picked off seven times and was sacked 21 times.
Junior linebacker Chris Lentz was named the ACFC Co-Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in FSU’s 22-0 win over Maryville. Lentz had a season-high 14 tackles, including a 12-yard sack, for the Bobcats, who held Maryville to just 36 rushing yards on 40 attempts. Maryville entered the game averaging 216.7 yards on the ground.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303